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Join us for a series of inspiring writing events this winter
This winter, we’ll host workshops, retreats and events taking inspiration from the cool, dark days of winter: the migrating birds and the falling snow.
The programme also explores the nature of time, clocks and bells, rituals and seasons, time travel and historical writing, how fast time can pass and how softly, too.
Monday 17 January (7.30-8.30pm) & Tuesday 18 January (7.15-9am)
An event of two halves! Join us for an evening gathering, then set your alarm to join the group again for a morning workshop. The days are slowly lengthening, the light is returning. We’ll use this subtle change as a creative prompt. A chance to approach the new year gently, embracing dreams, comfort and softness.
Thursday 20 January (7.15-9am)
In this workshop, we’ll take inspiration from clocks and watches, sundials and pendulums. The second hand and the minute hand. We’ll write about characters who are early, those who are on time, and those who are always always late. Expect to read poems about ticking, clock faces and the mystery of time.
Tuesday 25 January (7.15-9am)
Starling murmurations are one of nature’s finest spectacles, with January offering a good opportunity to witness these beautiful aerial displays in the sky. In this workshop, we’ll take inspiration from the grace and movement of these migrating birds, along with other winter birds like the friendly robin.
Thursday 27 January (7.15-9am)
The ancient Japanese idea of microseasons will inspire us in this morning writing workshop. Dividing the year into many parts is a way to pay attention to life around us, and we’ll look at a range of calendars and cultures that reflect the changing rhythms, geology and climate of the natural world.
Candlelit Retreat I
Tuesday 1 February (7.15-9.30am)
Bring your work in progress, along with a hot drink and candles and join us for a peaceful writing retreat. This writing retreat will begin in darkness, gather energy from the sunrise and conclude with the light of the morning. We’ll offer a short intention setting exercise, because the new moon in Aquarius offers a chance to plan bold and exciting creative projects.
Thursday 3 February (7.15-9am)
In our season all about time, we’ll explore sequencing, repetition and patterns in our writing. We’ll think about early experiments in moving images, comic strips and the work of artists such as David Hockney, Dora Maurer and Ai Weiwei who use sequences and careful arrangements to show the world in a new way and invite us to practice our skills in looking, in slowing down.
Tuesday 8 February (7.15-9am)
Journey into the past with writing that evokes the colours, textures, sights, sounds and smells of times gone by. In this session, author Katherine Woodfine will share her own creative process when writing historical fiction — and we’ll take inspiration from real-life events, places and people of the past.
Thursday 10 February (7.15-9am)
In Venice, there are more than 100 bell towers with the largest bell—the Marangona in St. Mark’s Basilica—chiming only at midday and then at midnight. Bells are full of mystery: the bronze Dhammazedi Bell, is thought to be the biggest bell ever cast, but has been lost under the deep rivers of present day Myanmar. We’ll write about bells ringing, and bell ringers, and how bells measure the passage of time. Join us!
Candlelit Retreat II
Thursday 17 February (7.15-9.30am)
Another chance to bring your work in progress, along with a hot drink and candles, and write with us. This peaceful writing retreat marks February’s full moon—known as the Slow Moon. Expect a slow and calm morning of writing by candlelight.
Tuesday 22 February (7.15-9am)
February often brings the snow, so we’ll spend a cosy morning writing about snowflakes and snowmen, snow angels and snowdrops. We’ll consider the role weather and climate play in our writing, and take inspiration from snowy poems and fiction.
Monday 28 February (7.15-9am)
We close the season with a workshop considering time slips, and time travel, superstitions and voyages to other realms. We’ll look at authors such as Ursula K. Le Guin and Octavia E Butler, and write our own poems, stories and memoirs about moments when time paused, shifted, and stretched in unexpected ways.